/Dominican Republic intensifies Haiti border shutdown over canal row

Dominican Republic intensifies Haiti border shutdown over canal row

(Reuters) – The Dominican Republic announced new measures to strengthen control at its border with Haiti, including an indefinite extension of the border shutdown it enacted last month plus boosting military forces as well as a new exports ban.

The measures were announced by Dominican security officials in a statement on Monday.

The Dominican Republic sealed its border with Haiti last month after it deemed construction work on a canal diverting water from the Massacre River a treaty violation since it was launched unilaterally by Haitians without government support.

Exports of electronics, cement, and other building materials will be banned to prevent construction of structures that threaten the river or other related natural resources, the statement added.

Authorities will also extend indefinitely the suspension of visa issuance to Haitian citizens.

The new measures will take effect on Wednesday, and also include the creation of a fund to finance an agricultural program to reduce the hiring of undocumented immigrant workers.

(Reporting by Paul Mathiasen and Valentine Hilaire; Editing by David Alire Garcia)

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